“So, now that we are agreed, how do we recombine?” Michael asked.
“It is clearly not enough to simply desire it,” Michael agreed.
“I think I’m going to have to push you two together with magic,” I answered. “Maybe a variant of an artificial chimera creation spell would do it.”
“I do not like the sound of ‘maybe’,” Michael complained.
“I do not either, but Illyana is doing her best in an unusual situation and I will trust her,” Michael stated.
It was so weird hearing him talk and respond to himself.
“Well, it is a strange situation,” I pointed out. “Unprecedented even. But the fact is that you need to become one being to be whole. And this is the only thing I can think of that may allow it.”
“The youngster has good instincts when it comes to magic,” Professor Mord said, tapping his staff against the ground. “And she is quite correct. You aren’t going to become one just by wishing for it and there isn’t an exact spell for this situation.”
“We can keep them safe, right?” Lynai asked.
Professor Mord’s tapping grew louder. “That is the concern, isn’t it? I don’t know if we can guarantee safety 100%.”
“What we can do,” I added. “Is have clerics standing by, monitoring his condition. We can also do the joining slowly so that we can pull it back if something goes wrong.”
“I wouldn’t advise that,” Callie said. “If there’s any chance of making these two one again, it’s going to be forcing them together hard and fast.”
“She has a point,” Professor Mord conceded. “It’s a difficult situation, but his best chance of being whole is to do it quickly. If you take it slowly, not only will it be more painful but there’s a greater chance of him rejecting himself.”
“Thank you, for considering my safety so highly,” Michael said. “But it is more important that the spell succeeds.”
“You can’t seriously think it’s wise to risk yourself on this,” Lynai protested. Truth be told, I wanted to join her. But I knew the Professor was correct. It wasn’t the safe method, but it did have the best chance of success.
“If I must take a risk to become whole then so be it,” Michael stated. “I will not accomplish my goal at half my strength.”
“Then let me and Professor Mord prepare,” I said. “We’ll do the spell in three hours. Michael, I suggest you steel yourself. This is definitely going to hurt.”
The time was approaching. I was worried but I couldn’t argue with knowledgeable mages.
I saw Aiko sitting by herself. She was staring up at the sky with a blank look on her face.
“Worried about the spell going wrong?” I asked.
“No, I trust Illy,” she said. “What I’m worried about is more…. personal.”
“Oh?” I studied her. She definitely seemed bothered, skittish almost.
“It’s just… I only ever knew one Michael,” she said. “Only fell for one Michael. I guess I’m scared that he’ll reconnect with his other half and grow cold to me. I don’t want to lose what I have with him but I also don’t want him to suffer.”
Her eyes were tearing up a little. I put a reassuring arm around her. “Don’t worry. The Michael you love will definitely still be there.” I nodded towards the main building. “Come on, let’s go watch the casting.”
Inside there was a magic strengthening circle with candles surrounding it. The two Michaels were standing in the middle. Illyana and Bastion took their positions.
There were some robed clerics to each side, ready to move in if they were needed.
“Are you ready?” Illyana asked.
Both Michaels turned towards her. “I am prepared.” They spoke in unison.
The spell was like a rainbow coloured mist spreading over them. They started convulsing even as they were pulled together.
It quickly became hard to watch. They started… flowing together. There was the sound of bones clanging together as their skin started fusing.
Their faces were both showing agony but they didn’t cry out. For a moment, there were two heads half-merged into a grotesque form. Then there was one. The whole process had only taken a couple minutes, but it was going to be burned into my mind forever.
Steam was rising from Michaels body. He wasn’t moving.